Images and musings on the natural world. The images link to information and the source where I found them. I have a variety of other -- Stuff blogs that reflect different interests from quilting and sewing to politics, angst and stuff.
This is why we burn on refuges. A critically imperiled multi-flowered grass pink orchid was discovered following a prescribed burn at the Mississippi Sandhill Crane NWR.
One of the greatest conservation tools we use in habitat management of our refuges is prescribed fire. While fire is applied to reduce the risks of wildfires on our refuges and surrounding homes, it is also a means to encourage native plants and wildlife habitat. This rare orchid, the multi-flowered grass pink, is a perfect example. It is considered globally imperiled and critically imperiled in the State of Mississippi. It was discovered on the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge following a carefully planned and precise controlled burn that was used to reduce the hazards of wildfires and improve the surrounding savanna grassland habitat. Like many plants of the savannas this plant is fire dependent. It requires fire to stimulate flowering and fire reduces the brush to allow more light for the plant to grow. It does not survive under the shade of bushes and other woody vegetation. Many plants benefit from the use of prescribed burning on our refuges that not only reduce the threat of wildfire, but help to increase the habitat for plants and animals to live.
B95 is a red knot, one of the most imperiled shorebirds now arriving on Delaware Bay. A human-size statue celebrating his life has been erected at Mispillion Harbor in Delaware. Another is being built in Rio Grande, Argentina, where many of his kind spend the winter.
His unlikely life was even celebrated in a book, Moonbird: A Year on the Wind With the Great Survivor B95. Written by Nature Conservancy staffer Phillip Hoose, it won numerous awards and is in its third printing. Researchers figure B95 is at least 20 years old - the oldest of his kind, as far as ornithologists know….
Years ago, red knots numbered nearly 100,000. But their population plummeted to about 15,000 at one point, and it has since rebounded a little.
To study the birds and learn what was happening - the harvest of crabs was eventually blamed, and restrictions were instituted - scientists began capturing the birds and banding them. Then they followed the birds through the hemisphere to known stopping points. Scanning the flocks and noting the band colors (designating where the bird was captured) plus the number (an individual’s ID), scientists could learn more about where the birds go and how long they live. B95 kept popping up.
Last year, however, was a nail-biter. The teams of researchers from around the world who converge on the bay every May to study shorebirds had almost given up hope of seeing him when Patricia Gonzalez, an Argentine researcher, finally spotted him on May 28. B95 still lived….
On Thursday, a team of spotters was at Mispillion Harbor. Nigel Clark, head of projects for the British Trust for Ornithology, saw a bird with a distinctive orange band. It said B95. Other red knots from South America are still arriving, so maybe the intrepid old bird has learned a thing or two. “It might be an indication of its knowledge of the system and migration, having lived so long,” said Kevin Kalasz, a wildlife biologist with the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife.